I only do it because it’s expected. And needed. Pollen season in the Deep South means everything is covered with a yellow crust that needs peeling off.Or chiseling off. Or oven cleaner.
Anyway, I don’t go on a blitz and do the whole house. That would be nuts, especially because I’m doing 98% of the work, because the heathens in the house, who don’t care if it’s clean or not, would not do the job well enough to satisfy me.
It’s also something of a Zen thing. I do one room a day, and take as long as it takes to do the job entirely. There’s none of the worrying about what else has to be done. Nope. Each piece of furniture individually gets washed with Murphy’s Oil Soap and polished with Formbey’s Lemon Oil. Every little nooks and cranny, one at a time, with no worry about any other piece or if I’ll be able to get to it in time…there’s no time frame. Every inch of baseboard and door frame, every pane of window, all scrubbed clean and polished. Every DVD and book wiped clean. Even the candles on the shelf get a wipe.
I don’t look at the office right through the door. It’s a mess, but it’s turn will come. Maybe tomorrow. I don’t like to say “this must get done by thus and such a date” because that is too much pressure. All I can say is that I want them done before Summer. If I do one room a day, and it takes about 3 hours to do a room properly (excluding bathrooms, they don’t take as long), I will still have plenty of time to do other things. Terry suggests that I do 2 rooms a week, and I may do that and call what he said “permission”.
I am not really what you’d call a “clean freak”. I do like things tidy, piles of stuff are irritating, but as for actual sparkling cleanliness, that’s not that big a deal for me. I have a friend who is a real Clean Freak. She bleaches everything, all the time. If she swats a fly, out comes the bleach and she’s cleaning the fly swatter as well as the spot (even on the floor) where the fly got smashed. After her kids take baths, she bleaches the tub. After they poo in the toilet, she bleaches the toilet. You really honestly can eat off her floors.
Not mine. with 4 dogs and 2 cats and 4 kids with their bare feet who go outside and dig in dirt and walk on Who Knows What, my floors…well, I am content that they aren’t always sticky. When we moved here, the living room and office were carpeted with white pile. I knew that wouldn’t last very long so I didn’t worry about it. About 6 months later we pulled it up (by then it was a strange purple-grey-with-brown-blotches) and put down vinyl. It was a stop-gap thing, and the vinyl was 50 cents per tile. Eventually we covered the vinyl with hickory laminate, but we’ve had so many catastrophic water events (overflowing appliances, bathtubs, etc) that the laminate is quite worse for the wear, but it wasn’t expensive either. Once most of the Water Offenders have moved out, we’ll probably replace the sad floor with something classier, like real hardwood. But as long as there are people who tear stuff up, there will be cheap flooring. and as long as there are people running all over, I will refuse to fret over how clean those floors are.
But for now, the house is getting a good scrubbing, and that will buy me a solid month of Not Worrying Much At All. I may even have some people over for dinner.
Terry: Time to get up, #4. It’s 6.
Me: Time to get up, Sunshine (or Sparky, or Sweetcheeks, whatever comes to mind).
(throws the puppy onto the bed, he proceeds to bounce around like Tigger and lick #4′s face)
#4: I feel sick, I think I have a (insert first sick-like symptom that comes to mind)
Me: You don’t have a fever and you’re not throwing up. You’re going to school.
#4: Mo-oooohm…I’m Si-iiiick!
Me: Get up, Sunshine (etc).
Sounds of shuffling feet across the upstairs landing, door slamming, shower comes on.
#4, smelling of Irish Spring and in his bathrobe, shuffles downstairs and fixes himself a cup of coffee.
#4: I still feel sick. I’m hungry. I didn’t sleep well last night. It’s not fair (and other complaints)
Me: You have a bad case of First World Problems. Now go milk the cows, plow the last half acre you didn’t finish last night, and if I am satisfied with the job you did, I will only beat you 5 minutes instead of the usual 10, and you’ll get an extra spoonful of unsalted grits for breakfast.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I heard lots of people going on about Downton Abbey. Netflix has it on Instant View. I thought “oh whatever…” then one day last week, being bored, I put it on the thing and watched an episode. The pilot was a FAR TOO SHORT 90 minutes. Then I watched another one. And another. Then got mad because it was time to fix supper. So we had something that took about 20 minutes to make (instead of the more typical hour-1/2+ that I normally spend on the meal). I wanted to yell at everyone to leave me alone to my story…then I fell mildly in love with Mr. Bates, the valet…no , not a hunkerly handsome manly man, but an honorable one, quiet and stoic. Probably the most decent fellow in the story, tho there is a lot to be said for Lord Whats-his-name, even though he’s the Family Patriarch he is really a very nice man. It’s interesting to me that the Family is far less snooty than the servants who work for them…good grief what a lot they are.
I absolutely LOVE the Maggie Smith character. She’s awesome anyway, and the lines she spouts out…She’s a Family Matriarch, mother of the Lord of Downton Abbey. She’s quite decent in her own way, tho pretty set in her Victorian ways. There is a subplot of a competition between her and the mother of the young man the estate is entailed to…which is another subplot of the story.
anyway, I am now hooked and I know Netflix has the first season. If they don’t have Season 2 I will…threaten to…do something Rash. Maybe write a tersely worded letter or do a Maggie Smith Look of Contempt. Man, that woman is funny.
The boys, of course, are bored to pieces by it. In the never-to-be-forgotten words of CJ,when he watched about 5 minutes of Pride and Prejudice at the tender age of 7, “Mom, all they do is talk and cry!” There are no explosions, not many raised voices, tho there is a death and very interesting cover-up, and a couple of really mean spirited servants you’d love to give a slap to. The boredom of the boys is an excellent thing, because it means they will leave me alone while I’m watching. it.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Yesterday evening #4 said he wanted a haircut. Ok, no problem. I have clippers and usually give him a 1/2 inch buzz cut every couple of months.
No, he said. I want is as short as you can get it without actually shaving me completely bald.
Um…I said. You sure about that?
Yes, he replied. Then he reminded me of the deal made at the beginning of the semester. There is this one kid in his class who dislikes the school. He was failing in Bible (it’s a Christian school). The teacher and #4 said if this kid made an A in Bible, they’d shave their heads. #4 was confident it wouldn’t happen.
Well. It happened.
#4 said the teacher told him that he didn’t have to do it if he didn’t want to. But #4 said no, he’d said he’d do it and so he did.
I asked him several times before I started if he was sure, and he said yes.
So I put the 1/16″ head on the clippers and commenced to shaving.
Afterward he started getting nervous. He asked if I had a wig (no,not one he’d want to wear).
Then he found a knit hat and put that on.
He has one teacher who is a stickler about the ‘no hats’ rule and he is going to beg her indulgence on this, at least until Bible class after lunch. He wants to surprise his class mates.
I told him I am very proud of him for sticking to his word, even knowing the teasing he is likely to receive.
When he got to school, the kid who made the Miracle A was the first one to see him and said “HOLY COW YOU ACTUALLY DID IT!”
Also, no one teased him, but they did all want to rub his head, which feels delightfully velvety. He wanted to charge 25 cents per rub, so as to finance an ice cream cone after lunch,but no one paid him. They rubbed his head anyway, which I suspect (in the case of the girls rubbing) was not entirely unwelcome.
Another thing…he doesn’t even *like* the kid for whom he shaved his head! But he did it anyway!
Filed under: Uncategorized
Fried chicken and potato salad.
Terry had a rough day at work needed comfort food.
The boys were all kind of wanting it.
CJ offered to go to the store and get the ingredients.
Daylight Savings Time means we can sit on the patio to eat it.
I wanted it. I’ve been wanting it for a week, and held off but no more.
Maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m not. Maybe I know when to give up the fight and enjoy the ride.
The thing is, when I want fried chicken, I do not want Popeyes, or KFC, or Uncle Shug’s Chicken Barn. I want James Beard’s Southern Fried and I want it cooked the way he does it…in lard.
And so it is. Tomorrow, I’ll eat a head of broccoli and drink a quart of red wine to unclog the gut and arteries. But tonight, it’s chicken done the proper way.
Filed under: Anger management, Good grief | Tags: birth control, catholic church, Christian Values, Rush Limbaugh
I reckon the whole pot of stew stirred up by the Rush Limbaugh/ Sandra Fluke controversy has me more upset than I realized at first.
First of all, I despise it when people resort to name calling. It pisses me off because it’s so cheap and petty and mindless. Anyone can call names. People who call Limbaugh a fat pig or whatever…are resorting to cheap. Limbaugh did it when he called Ms Fluke a slut. I resent all of that entirely and it dismisses the importance of the argument.
That is, that institutions shouldn’t be required to provide insurance coverage for something that they, as an institution, are morally opposed to.
Now, as I see it, the Catholic church was not wanting for their insurance to cover birth control. I get that. However, (as I see it) Ms. Fluke’s argument was that by denying coverage for birth control, hormone replacement therapy (often times medication that was also used as birth control) was being denied to people who needed it for reasons other than birth control, such as polycystic ovarian disease, endometriosis, and similar gynecological disorders. In other words, the insurance provider was second guessing the physician’s decision to use hormone therapy to treat very real and painful diseases because the treatment was also a birth control. thing is, someone with polycystic ovarian disease or endometriosis is pretty unlikely to get pregnant, as these disorders tend to be incompatible with pregnancy.
I do not agree that the Catholic Church should be required to provide contraceptives. (go ahead and throw something). I also do not agree that they should NOT provide medication that could be used as a contraceptive if the woman’s physician determines that she needs it for medical purposes. Does that make sense? The Catholic Church is not a gynecologist, and they should not tell a gynecologist or a woman that she cannot have the medication that will enable her to have a better quality of life. That is between the woman and her physician. If a woman wants contraception, there are many options that do not require a physicians prescription.
I know, A Woman’s Body Is Her Own…I get that. Let me ask you this, how many insurance companies cover the cost of abortions? As far as I know, most of the time if a woman wants one, she pays for it out-of-pocket. I honestly believe that contraception should also be paid for out-of-pocket. It is VOLUNTARY. Having sex is (or it should be) VOLUNTARY. Oral contraceptives are not the only option for contraception. If the man says “I don’t like the way condoms feel” and refuses to use them, then he is an asshole and the woman shouldn’t be having sex with him. If the woman has an uncomfortable reaction to contraceptive jellies or foams (which I totally understand, as I react to them), and the man refuses condoms…ok I know what some of you are thinking. That I am heartless and do not understand and “what about a woman’s sexual agency” and all that.
Thing is, I get it more than you think. I just don’t believe that any institution should be required by law to pay for something that is, for the recipient, A VOLUNTARY and not medically necessary service or product.
now, I do not agree with the Catholic Church on the birth control issue. I do not agree with the idea that women are vessels and should have as many babies as they can and have humongous families, IF THEY DON’T WANT TO. If they do want to, more power to them as long as they can pay for it. BUT I do believe the Catholic Church has a right to this. If you don’t agree with them, don’t go to a Catholic University and expect student insurance to cover birth control. Don’t work for a Catholic institution. If that’s the institution that gives you a scholarship, or that’s the place that hires you, go into it with the understanding that there are limitations to what the insurance will cover.
Y’know, my health insurance won’t cover anything involving teeth. If my son gets 4 teeth knocked out by a soccer ball, too bad. Any dental work has to be paid out of pocket. If he is in a car accident and hits a telephone pole and his face hits the steering wheel, insurance will cover the broken nose and cheekbone, but not the broken teeth and subsequent root canals. I knew this going into it. I am not happy about it, but that’s the way it is. I can lobby with the owners of the company about our insurance coverage, I can protest and make a lot of noise and *maybe* dental coverage will be added, but it won’t be free. I have to make a choice.
Likewise anyone going to work or school at a Catholic institution has to make a choice about birth control. Maybe if they make enough noise, the business about trusting a physician and being able to take medication (that is also used as birth control) for gynecological diseases will be resolved. That would be a very good change.
Ok, now…Here’s where I get REALLY pissed off. It’s the double standard. Women are supposed to be chaste, innocent and virginal. If they choose to be sexually active then they are Sluts. Men are supposed to be Experienced and if they are sexually active outside of marriage they they get the “nudge nudge, wink wink”. Only, with whom are they supposed to be sexually active,if women are supposed to be chaste and virginal?
In a perfect world according to Christian Values (bear with me here, you all know I am Christian), BOTH MEN AND WOMEN would remain chaste and virginal until marriage. There should exist NO DOUBLE STANDARD. However, as I said in a previous post, I know that not everyone in this country is Christian. HOWEVER, there should be NO DOUBLE STANDARD there, either. If men can have sex, so should women, without condemnation.
But (I know, there are 2 points in this post and probably should be written separately) the stupid double standard of sexual behavior MUST STOP. If men are going to call women sluts for being sexually active, then MEN must STOP HAVING SEX,TOO. That is, sex outside of marriage. If men aren’t willing to do that, then it MUST be acceptable for women to behave the same way. After all, with whom are those men going to have sex with, anyway? Each other? But that’s a whole ‘nother topic.
**edited to add: ” I honestly believe that contraception should also be paid for out-of-pocket. It is VOLUNTARY. Having sex is (or it should be) VOLUNTARY” I meant to say IF the insurance company will not pay for contraceptives on moral grounds (due to the beliefs of the company providing the insurance)…it should not be required to, and the individual should voluntarily pay for them. If there is no moral obligation against contraceptives, then by all means, let the insurance company pay for it! It would be far cheaper to pay for contraceptives than for babies being born. In that case, I think the companies ought to pay for them entirely, rather than with the copay….sorry for any confusion. I am not opposed to insurance paying for contraceptives, only for companies who are morally opposed to them being forced to provide them.
Filed under: Uncategorized
The Garden: Snow peas and salad greens are up! Tiny greens and poking up through the dirt, and the snow peas are pushing soil aside and it won’t be long until the poles will need to go in so they can grow upward and start giving me PEAS. I am waiting for it to be consistently warmer before putting in the burgundy beans. However, the Telephone peas can probably go in this weekend. I will probably cover them with plastic for a couple of weeks, though. The Orris (white irises) are putting up a zillion buds! I can’t WAIT! Love me some white irises. Oo. For Valentine’s Day Terry gave me a card promising a shopping spree at a flower nursery. Methinks some purple irises may be in order. Yes? Of course. It is also time to order the James Galway rose I’d like to put next to the gate into the garden. Terry has promised an arbor over the gate for the rose to climb on.
The Sewing Room: A new dress for Easter is in the works. Coral Irish linen, made into a tailored dress with an A-line skirt and buttons up the front. No gathers, no ruffles, no nothing extraneous or floofy. I do not do floof or gathers. Experience has taught that clean lines and a well tailored outfit removes 10-20 pounds from a Rubenesque form. Also, I am making aprons. The embroidery machine is a great way to make custom things that have sarcastic sayings on them. I am considering opening an Etsy shop to sell them. Or maybe Ebay. Maybe both. I don’t know. They’re fun to make. It has been many, many years since I did any serious sewing, and getting back into it has been rewarding.
The Kitchen: CJ, in a fit of generosity and craving for smoked chops, recently bought a gas smoker for me. It’s a lovely thing, and you can see it at Rootie’s Kitchen. I have, so far, smoked a gigantic boston butt, 6 boneless pork chops, and a chicken. I am considering making homemade sausage and smoking that, but making it would require the purchase of a sausage stuffer and some casings. That would not be a problem, as Kitchen Aid sells an attachment for the mixer. I’ve also gotten into making bread. My parents gave us a bread machine a million years ago. Gosh, we were living in South Alabama at the time and that was 20 years ago…anyway, it has been resurrected and put back into use. It costs about the same to make a loaf of whole grain bread with no preservatives or mysterious ingredients as it does to purchase a loaf. Playing around with recipes has resulted in a loaf with (let me count them…flax, sesame seeds, quinoa, amaranth, walnuts, whole wheat and white flours) lots of ingredients and a wonderful hearty texture. I came up with the bright idea of mixing the grains (except the flours) and toasting them in the skillet, then keeping them in a jar so when it’s time to make the bread I just scoop out what I need of the mix, instead of measuring each ingredient separately. The house has never smelled so good, and I feel like a Good Wife And Mother for providing my family with something so wholesome.
Filed under: Anger management, Good grief, Oh for Pete's Sake, oh HELL no!, ridiculous!, things that make you go hmmmmm, Uncategorized, Uncharacteristic Aggression, what? um...what? | Tags: Oh for pete's sake, What.
Warning: This is a bona fide rant. If you have trouble with strong opinions, go here.
Ok menfolk. This is the 21st century and it is commonly acknowledged that women are every bit as smart as men. Or it should be, anyway. In fact, there are several people in my aquaintance who regularly announce that I am the only person they’ve ever met who’s smarter than Terry. And I’m a woman. Surprise surprise. I know of one other person who’s smarter than I am, and guess what…*she’s* a woman too! This is no slight against Terry, mind you, he’s the smartest person *I* know and live with!
So anyway, I am, honestly, sick and tired of menfolk making health care decisions and judgements about women, of twisting the facts in an inflammatory way that puts the ideas into people’s heads that women are unable to control themselves. I am tired of it being said that we are the cause of men sinning, which totally denigrates men as well, by implying they’re vulnerable and unable to control themselves.
Ok, there’s this whole thing with Rush Limbaugh calling a young woman named Sandra Fluke a “slut and a prostitute” because she appealed to Congress about the need for access to birth control. After reading her testimony, nowhere did I see anything about her wanting birth control so she could have sex 5 times a day with lots of men, the way Mr Limbaugh implied. However, there are many people out there (some of them I know quite well) who listen to him and use him as a source of information. Great, this just hammers home the point that we women aren’t really able to make sound decisions, because if we had easy access to birth control we’d all just be sexing it up with every man that comes along.
Then oh horrors we’d go having abortions right and left, because we’d be too busy sexing it up to be bothered with having babies.
Ok, here’s the deal. I am pro-life, fairly strenuously so. I think life begins at conception and it behooves the mother to take care of that baby until it’s born, and afterward. I think it makes sense for life to begin at conception. However, I am smart enough to recognize that not everyone shares my belief. I wish they did, but don’t we all, because not sharing a belief can be taken as other people thinking you’re wrong. However, everyone’s experience in life is different, and those experiences shape our beliefs. Therefore, I recognize that other people have different beliefs based on their lives, which are different from mine. I have never become pregnant from rape. I have never had a prenatal test that showed I was carrying a child who would be born dead, or would only live a short time after being born. Thus, I cannot with assurance say that a child conceived in rape, or who was anencephalic (had no brain) should be carried to term because I do not know what kind of effect carrying that pregnancy to term would have on the mother. I have never been a 15 year old girl pregnant by her uncle, or the older man down the road. Those are shoes I will never walk in.
I think it is safe to say that the menfolk who are making the decisions in Congress, the ones who are so stridently advocating for strict laws on birth control and women’s health will never walk in the shoes of a woman pregnant by rape, or one carrying a child who is so terribly deformed it won’t live, or a woman who has polycystic ovarian disease and is racked with pain every month during her period, or the myriad other reasons a woman might have to make a difficult personal decision. So why aren’t women the ones making these decisions?
Why is it perfectly OK FINE for insurance to cover Viagra or Cialis, but not birth control pills? Believe me, I do understand how important to a man’s psyche his sexual perfomance is. I am not knocking that. But shouldn’t a woman have just as much control over her own sexual agency as a man? And why are men the ones making these decisions?
I understand why a woman who is unmarried and sexually active is frowned on, because our country had a Puritan background. BUT…this is not a Christian nation, as much as many Christians would like to believe. It is a nation founded on the principle of the ability to freely choose the religion you wish to belong to, or the choice to belong to no religion at all. (there is a point here…) If you are not a Christian (and I know many people who are not, even though I am), why is it necessary to hold you, the nonChristian, to a Christian standard, including virginity until marriage, or heterosexuality, or monogamy? These are all ideals I accept, but recognize that it is kind or odd to think that I should expect a nonChristian friend to share the same sexual values that I do. Yes, I wish they would, but to expect them to and to reject them as a person and a friend is…not what I am going to do. Therefore (maybe I’m getting to the point now), to make this country one where birth control is withheld from women while Viagra is given to men is a double standard that I despise. Who are those men going to have sex with? Each other? Will we divide this country into Sluts and Virgins?
Oh I don’t know…I am just really pissed off and disgusted by Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh and their ilk, that make women out to be dumb vaginas who can’t control ourselves and aren’t smart enough to make a decision. It’s enough to make me want to throw something.
I tell you what I’d like, for those men and the ones who agree with them to spend just a couple of months with periods. Let them bleed out of their ass for a week, have debilitating cramps, food cravings,bloat up and feel murderous, just a couple of times. Let’s give them some morning sickness, let them carry a baby to term just once, experience labor and the joy of passing an 8 pound watermelon through their anus, with all the ripping and FUN recovery…and then listen to us whine because they don’t really feel like sex a week later. If they could do that, just once, I am willing to bet the whole tune would change in a fat hurry.
*let me make it perfectly clear. Terry has never even ONCE treated me like I’m less important than he is. He is not the man I want to throw things at.
comment made somewhere else:
Most people are also not aware that Medicare has spent 240 million dollars on penis pumps for old men.
So a 70 year old man get get a boner, but women are whores for wanting birth control. -Pheeno
Comment to the comment:
I have no problem with helping old men get boners, I just want women to get the same consideration, like not having to suffer agonizing periods that last for 2 weeks, or even (gasp) maybe not want to get pregnant. Ok, fine, let’s make it hard to get abortions, but if you’re going to do that then BY GOD YOU’D BETTER MAKE IT EASIER TO GET BIRTH CONTROL. HELLO! Otherwise, who are all those men on Viagra and medicare penis pumps going to have sex with? Each other? oh no…that would be homosexuality which is also Bad. grrr. -Rootietoot
Filed under: family, home and hearth, In The Southland | Tags: In the Southland
It’s Spring in The Southland. The grass needs cutting, the wisteria is starting to show buds, and peepers yell at you from the swamp across the road. We slept with the windows open last night, it got down to about 65 degrees. This really is my favorite time of year, and the reason God invented convertibles. Ok maybe He didn’t but He made the person who did and gave them the brains to come up with an automatic top. Which is very good.
The “grass” (and I use that noun loosely) in the front yard is close to shin-height. Mostly it’s rattlesnake weed and crabgrass, but once all that’s cut you can’t really tell. Except for the bald bits between the crabgrass patches. It’s not a pretty yard. As long as there are pinetrees making too much shade and pooping pinecones every 10 minutes there’s not much point in trying with it. Once the trees are gone (just as soon as someone drops $6000 in my lap) we’ll make it pretty. Yes, Canadian friends, we mow the grass in early March. I probably should have done so in mid-February but something in my Scottish heritage (it’s cold in Scotland and they mow with sheep and goats) prevented it. I cannot ignore it any longer tho. Another week and it will require a bushhog.
The garden is started. Snowpeas (Golden Sweets, an Indian variety chosen for it’s gold pods that are easy to see because I am blindish) and salad greens (arugula and Jericho lettuce, chosen for it’s heat resistance. I’d like salads in June and July, if possible) are planted and under a(possibly unnecessary) cold frame. Terry got a wire shelf unit and some plastic, and rigged me up “The Greenshack” called such because it’s too small to be a greenhouse, but it’s just the right size for a few tomatoes, peppers and herbs to start in the warm and humid comfort of a controlled environment. Heirloom tomatoes: Brandywines, Black Krims and Sweeties. Hot peppers for salsa, 2 eggplants per #4′s request, thyme, basil and salad burnett. I’m going to look for some perennial flowers like Echinacea, coreopsis, stuff like that.
I am hoping for one more freeze, to kill the fleas and mosquitoes. It could happen, maybe. However, by Easterit will all be over with and time to plant the delicate stuff- green beans, such like.
Terry is equipping his shop and getting it set up to do some serious furniture making. Work is settling down enough that he has off every Saturday, and he is taking full advantage. I am excited, because a furniture-making Terry is a happy Terry. Plus he’s going to make that mission style sofa I’ve always wanted.. Yes. One of these. We’re already picking through the oak bin at Home Depot and Lowe’s to find pieces of quarter-sawn that will look beautiful.
CJ, because he’s funny that way, bought a smoker for me last night. I have a smoker, but it’s a charcoal one, and he thought if I had a gas one I’d smoke stuff more often and he’s probably right. Harvey’s has Boston Butts on sale right now, so I see smoked barbeque in our near future. I also want to try cold smoking cheese and fish.
The daffodils are nearly finished blooming. The redbuds are in full bloom and dogwoods are just starting to open up. Wisteria is showing buds, and roses are starting to sprout leaves. yes, Spring is here in the Deep South. Y’all come for a visit!